Love, a word that I always say is an action word. Not just a word that is said, but a word that is shown, love is something that you do. By definition, love is an intense feeling of affection.
I often find other survivors asking “How will I ever love again?” To be honest, you will never be able to truly love another person until you first love yourself. When you were in an abusive relationship you were not loved or cared for properly which may have led to you feeling like you are unlovable. Learn to give yourself the love you deserve and did not receive from your abuser. You are loveable, and you are worth loving. You do deserve to love and to be loved.
Take time in getting to re-learn yourself. It is a process. There are no time limits, you take however long you want. Remember, you are a new person now, not exactly the same person that you once used to be. For however long you were in the abusive relationship you were not your true self, and you were led to believe that you were the negative things that this individual bombarded your mind with. You have to retrain yourself from the negative things you were once told and remind yourself of the positive things that you know you are. Continuously repeating these positive words until you wholeheartedly believe them.
Whenever a negative thought comes to mind, pay attention, and then replace it with something positive. For example, if a negative thought like “I’m not good enough.” Comes to mind, instantly stop, and say: “I am good enough.” or “I am more than enough.” If you get the thoughts of “I can’t…” change them to “I can.” and “I will.” Remind yourself of your worth. Remind yourself of how beautiful or handsome that you are.
Do little things for yourself, take long walks on the beach or a park. Buy yourself some flowers. Have a spa day. Maybe even take a short trip(or a long one 🙂 ). Treat yourself to something nice. Do anything that will make you feel good about yourself.
Set small goals that you know you will achieve, and once achieved celebrate! Congratulate yourself, treat yourself. Then set another goal, or maybe a few goals and achieve those as well.
Setting goals and accomplishing them gives you a well-needed self-esteem boost. It makes you feel better about yourself.
Learning to love yourself is an amazing journey. It is quite interesting. When you take the time to self-evaluate, you will be amazed at what you learn about yourself. There may be things that you do not like about yourself and that is fine, this is the time that you can work on them and improve yourself.
For now, focus on loving yourself rather than focusing on finding love. When you are ready, love will find you. You will recognize when a healthy and loving relationship comes and you will be ready for it. But for now, take this time as YOUR time! Focus on getting to know the new and improved you. The stronger, wiser and better YOU! There is love afterwards. There is love after an abusive relationship. The love of loving yourself comes first. It is time for you to put yourself first for once. It is time to enjoy YOU!
Sidenote: For those who enjoy reading, I created a short list of several books on loving yourself below: